Australia prevent England ODI whitewash at the Oval

By Will Turner

ricky ponting

Ryan Harris took 5-32 as Australia claimed a consolation win in the penultimate game of the five-match series with England today at the Oval.

Captain Ricky Ponting made a fine 92 whilst Michael Clarke ended 99 not out as Australia made an imposing 290-5 in their 50 overs.

The English reply never got going with the Aussie pace attack causing constant problems. Only Michael Yardy (57), Andrew Strauss (37) and Eoin Morgan (47) made notable contributions.

The Australian innings was dominated by Ponting and vice-captain Clarke. Their third wicket partnership of 155 ensured a competitive target was set; something the side had failed to do in the previous three games.

Ponting fell just eight runs short of his 30th ODI century but with his 92, he becomes the third man to pass 13,000 runs in ODI cricket, joining the illustrious pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuria.

Clarke, dropped on five by James Anderson, was left stranded on 99 to watch Steve Smith face the last deliveries of the innings and deny the Aussie vice captain his hundred. This would have been only Clarke’s fifth ODI hundred in 175 matches.

Ryan Harris struck immediately with the wicket of Craig Kieswetter, whose poor run at the top continues. The raw pace of Shaun Tait ended Andrew Strauss’ promising start and from here England’s backs were firmly against the wall.

Eoin Morgan and Michael Yardy began a spirited fight back with a 50 partnership but when Morgan went for 47 the innings petered out despite a gutsy 57 from Yardy; England 212 all out.

The win ended hopes of an English whitewash and takes the series score to 3-1 with the final match to be played at Lord’s on Saturday.

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